Jet Lag Meal Time Calculator

Start by clicking here to find the time zone difference between your departure and destination locations in your direction of travel (i.e. the difference between Los Angeles and Tokyo is 8 hours because the flight takes you over the Pacific Ocean). If your flight takes you in an eastbound direction, use negative numbers (-), if it's westbound, use positive numbers in the first drop-down menu below.
Next, enter the estimated arrival time at your destination, to the closest hour. Example: your choice for an 8:35 PM arrival will be 21:00 (9PM).
Finally, click "time your meals" below and the calculator will tell you which meal to have before your flight and which meal to eat following arrival at your destination. It's that simple: no complicated sleep or lighting schedules, just a brief fast!
You should eat this full meal before beginning your fast:
After you arrive, your first meal should be:

Over the years, sleep and circadian researchers and physicians have advocated using various forms of light therapy, often in combination with substances like melatonin, to combat jet-lag. The problem with these approaches is twofold: they aren’t effective for many people and they can be challenging to implement and adhere to. In other words, for some the cure is worse than the symptoms! This website offers an alternative strategy for combating jet-lag. The method was originally developed by Harvard sleep researchers and is simple, cost- and drug-free and highly effective: simply eat a meal at the regularly scheduled time before departure and wait 16 - 20 hours before eating the next regularly scheduled meal at your destination. The calculator to the right will help guide you as to which meals to have before and after your fast. Be sure to read more about the science behind the jet lag calculator, including a BBC documentary on the method in action. FAQs

Jet Lag Calulator Tips:

Extended layovers

For example, you're flying from New York to New Delhi with a 6 hour layover in Frankfurt--simply apply this technique twice: once for your New York -> Frankfurt flight and once for your Frankfurt -> New Delhi flight.

Flights lasting 14 hours or longer

You won't need the calculator because using this method will be relatively easy. Eat a meal either shortly before (for travel time lasting between 14 and 18 hours) or shortly after (travel times lasting longer than 18 hours) you board the airplane. Then do not eat again until after you have arrived at your destination: either breakfast, lunch or dinner, whichever meal is next at your destination.

Time zones less than 3 hours apart

The jet lag you will encounter if the time zone difference is less than 3 hours will be too mild for this technique to work. For instance, flights between Tokyo, Japan and Sydney, Australia are long and you might feel tired afterwards, but this would not be considered jet lag since the two cities are separated by at most a one hour time zone difference.